Showdown Slant ::
Presented by top Showdown mind Xandamere!
Once pricing is released for this game, this writeup will be updated with some additional thoughts.
I don’t know what it is with the mediocre Island games so far this season. Bears at Redskins has the Bears as four point road favorites with a game total of 41. The good thing is, while we would probably just ignore this game if it was on main slate (especially this week’s loaded main slate), we can still make money on it in Showdown. Let’s pick it apart…
Chicago has scored 19 points in two games so far, albeit against the Broncos and what looks to be a good defense this year in the Packers. They went incredibly pass heavy against Green Bay, with 15 run plays against 45 dropbacks, while in the slow, grinding game against Denver they had 29 rushes to 27 pass attempts. No matter which way you slice it, Mitchell Trubisky has not looked great this season, though this should be the easiest matchup he’s faced so far. He’s also working with an exceptional coaching staff that will scheme the offense to beat specific opponents. Washington is a defense that, while it has started the year abysmally in all respects, should be stronger against the run than the pass. With that said, I would still expect the Bears to open this game trying to keep the ball on the ground as long as they can find success. David Montgomery had 19 touches in a tough week against Denver and a similar workload can be expected here as long as game script doesn’t go against Chicago (so far Montgomery has been very lightly used in the pass game, so I wouldn’t use him on rosters that feature a game script of Washington jumping out to a lead). Tarik Cohen was heavily utilized in Week 1 before taking a step back in Week 2, with his snap percentage dropping almost in half as Anthony Miller saw his increase (which makes me suspect that Miller wasn’t fully healthy in Week 1). Cohen, as always, is a boom/bust option who is used in creative ways to exploit matchups; he doesn’t generally see the volume you’d expect from a player at his salary, but he always has slate-breaking upside. Finally, I should mention Cordarrelle Patterson, who is getting a few touches per game as both a running back and a receiver, and who can score from anywhere at what will likely be a very inexpensive salary.
In the pass game the Bears have Allen Robinson and then a rotating cast of characters behind him. A-Rob is now an extra year removed from his ACL tear and looks like the receiver we expected back in Jacksonville. Dude’s elite, and he’s going to have some monster games this year. He also leads the team with 20 targets so far.
Behind Robinson is unpredictability. Taylor Gabriel and Miller haven’t seen much usage so far, while the tight end situation became a full-blown rotation last week with Trey Burton returning and three different tight ends each seeing three targets. All of these guys feel pretty dart-throwy to me, and I’ll have to see what pricing looks like before commenting on which of them seems most viable; but overall, I’d like Miller the most based on last year’s usage and assuming he’s healthy. Gabriel has some hypothetical big play ability but we rarely see it in reality, while the tight ends are all basically touchdown-or-bust options. I rarely get much into detail about defenses, but even on the road the Bears D is squarely in play, with the caveat that Case Keenum has actually looked not-terrible so far with five touchdowns and zero interceptions.
On the Washington side, they’ll run Adrian Peterson as long as the game remains close. That sounds hopeless, but keep in mind that last Thanksgiving, LaGarrette Blount led the Lions to victory over these same Bears and was the optimal Showdown captain at something like 10% total ownership (not just captain ownership!). I’ll always place some value on running backs in Showdown simply because of their goal-line roles, and if Washington somehow keeps this close AP should threaten 20 touches. The Redskins’ pass game has been fairly narrow so far, which is good for our purposes: Terry McLaurin, Chris Thompson, and Trey Quinn have dominated with 16, 18, and 13 touches respectively. The ageless Vernon Davis isn’t terribly far behind with 11, while Paul Richardson is getting full-time snaps but inconsistent volume so far. Jordan Reed looks likely to miss another game and shouldn’t be a factor. McLaurin and Thompson are both fast and shifty with massive upside — either one of these guys can score from anywhere on the field and the volume they’re getting makes it reasonably likely that at least one of them will, with the edge going to McLaurin as the Bears D, while elite everywhere, is most vulnerable (least invulnerable?) to wide receivers.
The way this game is likely to play out is to start slowly with both teams playing not very aggressively. The Bears should be able to build a lead and lean on the run, while Washington will eventually be forced to try to open things up and chase. In this script Montgomery and Robinson are your primary Bears skill position players, while McLaurin and Thomspon should see the most opportunities for Washington. The kickers and the Bears D are both viable, and both quarterbacks are, of course, always reasonable options.
Some other ways this game could go:
- The Redskins could get out to a lead, either via the run or the pass, and manage to hang on. In this script the Bears would be forced to open things up, resulting in more pass volume across the board with a lessened role for Montgomery. In this script you’d be looking at Adrian Peterson plus another Redskin or two, less (or zero) Montgomery and Bears D, and Trubisky plus one or two of his receivers.
- The Redskins have somewhat overachieved so far this year on offense (Case Keenum really isn’t this good). I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bears just crush them (note that while the Bears have only scored 19 points in 2 games, they have also only allowed 24)
Overall my favorite captains are Robinson, McLaurin, Montgomery, and Thompson (roughly in that order), with my usage of them spread out depending on the script for which I’m building. AP isn’t a bad choice, either, if you’re building for Alternate Scenario number one up above.
Some groups to consider:
- At most 1 kicker
- At most 1 defense
- Pair captain quarterbacks with at least 2 receivers
- Pair captain receivers with their quarterback
- At most 1 of Peterson and Thompson (the game script in which each of them thrive is exactly opposite)
- At most 1 of the Bears TEs
Sunday night update: pricing has been released and it is…interesting. In Week 3 we’re starting to see DraftKings adjust player pricing based on what those players have done so far this season, which means Case Keenum is somehow the second most expensive player on the slate. The biggest value on the board, to me, is Trey Quinn who is somewhat egregiously underpriced at just $3,800 despite seeing 13 targets in the first 2 games of the year and playing 79% of the snaps. It doesn’t hurt that he gets the best matchup against the Bears secondary either, going up against slot corner Buster Skrine. Allen Robinson and Mitch Trubisky are fairly priced and carry the highest raw points projections on the slate. David Montgomery is overpriced for his current 2-down role but most beat writers expect to see his role expand as the year goes on, so, is this the week? Chris Thompson and Tarik Cohen are attractive at their price points, whereas everyone else feels pretty fairly priced barring any late news. The kickers are in play here, though with Quinn a stronger play and right in their price range, I prefer the upside of the receiver.
— Xandamere’s Advanced Showdown Course is now available through OWS :: Marketplace! This is his tournament course for Showdowns. (Which probably makes this a good place to say congrats to X for grabbing his second(!) top-two tourney finish of the year in the Sunday afternoon Showdowns. Ninth top-two finish since the start of last season. Insane.)
JM’s original note for those building Thursday-to-Monday rosters that include this game ::
- Every Washington player could be avoided if this game were on the Main Slate, with the only viable path to slate-winning upside being a dart or two on the speed and legitimate role of Terry McLaurin.
- The Bears pretty much have to be avoided outside of tournaments right now (perhaps even larger-field tourneys) given how bad they have looked through two games; but you could keep in mind that the Bears looked bad at times last year, and at other times they won the weekend. I would be avoiding Bears outside of game stacks; but I would have a few game stacks that try to capture a big output from this still-capable-of-being-high-powered offense.
- Obviously, the Bears defense would be in play if this game were on the Main Slate. Beyond that, there isn’t a whole lot else that you would find to have interest in here.